Applied research corporation SCRA recently completed a Landfill Gas-to-Hydrogen project at the BMW Manufacturing Company’s facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The project was backed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) with a focus on ways to economically and technically convert landfill gas into hydrogen pure enough to power fuel cell vehicles. The project is the brainchild of SCRA and DOE officials who were interested in finding bio-gas sources that could be used to make renewable hydrogen.
Presently, BMW gets hydrogen from a major industrial gas supplier.
Significant in the first phase of the project was the revelation that landfill gas to hydrogen could be used for large-scale operations. In the second phase, it was confirmed that commercially available technologies have the capacity to recover fuel cell-quality hydrogen from landfill gas sources.
In the final phase of the project, several of BMW’s material-handling equipment units were powered with hydrogen from the project equipment - and there was no visible difference in performance compared to that achieved when fueled by the existing delivered hydrogen at BMW.
“BMW was happy to facilitate the trial conversion of landfill gas into renewable hydrogen,” Manfred Erlacher, president and chief executive officer of BMW Manufacturing Co., said.
SCRA chief executive officer Bill Mahoney agreed.
“We are delighted to complete this project and identify new energy sources that can provide value to the hydrogen industry,” he said.
The Landfill Gas-to-Hydrogen project team was overseen by SCRA. Technical support was lent from the Gas Technology Institute and Ameresco Inc., while DOE provided both technical support and half of the funding for the $1.3 million project.
Funding also came from BMW, SCRA, the Blue Moon Foundation, Urban Renewable Hydrogen and the Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative.